Social Security rules for ex-spousal benefits

You can claim divorced spouse’s insurance benefits if your ex-spouse is currently entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits. You must be single and 62 or over and you must have been married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years.

You cannot claim this benefit if your benefit entitlement at your full retirement age (FRA) exceeds or equals one-half of your ex-spouse’s FRA benefit and you are currently entitled to retirement or disability insurance.

If your ex-spouse is not currently entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits, but he or she has attained age 62 and is fully insured, you can become independently entitled to benefits on your ex-spouse’s record if you meet all of the other requirements in the preceding paragraph and have been divorced for at least two continuous years.

Ex-spousal benefits may be up to half of your ex-spouse’s FRA benefit entitlement. They will be reduced if you claim them prior to your FRA.

Here are further details.